A week ago, US President Donald Trump had criticized French President Macron’s government’s decision to follow-up on the Paris climate agreement, pointing to the popular mass protest movement of the ‘gilets jaunes’ (yellow vests) as proof that taxing the poor for fuel consumption wouldn’t work. In response, France’s Foreign Minister had, in no uncertain terms, urged Mr Trump to only react to domestic matters and leave France to be governed by the French.
One week later and French President Emmanuel Macron questions the reliability of the United States as an ally in the coalition in Syria. President Donald Trump decided last week to withdraw US troops from that country. The French president now makes it clear that he regrets this choice during a visit to French troops in Chad.
Mr Macron stated: “I very deeply regret the decision made on Syria.”
“To be allies is to fight shoulder to shoulder. It’s the most important thing for a head of state and head of the military. An ally should be dependable.”
The approximately 2,000 American soldiers who were still in Syria will immediately return home. President Trump also stops air strikes on Islamic State in the Middle East.
The United States led an international coalition in Syria and Iraq in recent years to eliminate the terrorist organization.
French President Macron stressed the importance of the work of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which has captured large parts of northern and eastern Syria from Islamic State, stating: “I call on everyone ... not to forget what we owe them.”
Ever since 2013, the Kurds have fought against IS on the battlefields in Iraq and Syria. Whilst hoping for international recognition as the largest group of people (30 million) without a country, the West did not answer when the Turks regained the Afri district of northern Syria (where the majority is Kurdish) and also not in 2017 at the oil-rich (predominantly Kurdish) Kirkuk, when the Iraqi army took back the area originally liberated by the Kurds.
Now that the Americans are leaving Syria, the Kurds are waiting for another Turkish offensive. The American troops, who fought against IS together with the Kurds, have so far made sure that Turkish president Erdogan hesitated to attack.
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